Monday, March 9, 2009

Chris Jordan: Picturing Excess / Intolerable Beauty

Depicts 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags, the number used in the US every hour. (How many trees is that??)

Today's synchronicity was about waste. First, I received an e-mail with a link to a video about plastics: This evening we watched a program on the Planet Green network about how scientists all over the world are working on new technologies to reuse, or detoxify, or produce new sources of energy from all the things we waste. It was pretty hopeful! (And BTW, if you are not watching the Planet Green network, I suggest checking it out. They have some good ecology programming.)

And I received an e-mail with a reminder of the work of Chris Jordan, a photographic artist who pictures for us the truth of our wasteful consumerism. He says: "The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity." Visit his website at to see many amazing pictures. They take awhile to load. Because of the vast detail involved in them, they must be fairly high resolution. But they are definietly worth the loading time!

The picture above is from the gallery named Running the Numbers - An American Self-Portrait. And this video is from Ted Talks -- Chris Jordan talking about his work and some of the pictures in that gallery. There are several other galleries on his website -- all amazing and thought-provoking, while often being -- as he says -- darkly beautiful. The one called We the People is especially.... oh, sorrowful is the best word I can find for it. These pictures are a wake-up call for the world!

"The best mind-altering drug is truth." ~Lily Tomlin"A human being fashions his consequences as surely as he fastens his goods or his dwelling. Nothing that he says, thinks or does is without consequences." ~Norman Cousins"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." ~Edward Everett Hale

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